The ‘inflammasome’ pathway is reported to be activated in both Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma. This pathway can initiate and maintain a chronic inflammatory state that contributes to disease progression. This exciting new research will investigate whether the inflammasome pathway is a significant, unifying pathway in glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease, and whether modulation of this pathway using Tonabersat (a drug used in the treatment of migraines and epilepsy) can result in improved disease outcomes.
To do this, the research will use an established mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease and develop a mouse model for glaucoma. Using these animal models, the research will investigate the inflammasome pathway and whether the administration of oral Tonabersat daily improves visual and memory outcomes and reduces the level of neurodegeneration.
“This research will provide valuable insight to the mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma, and potentially reveal a unifying pathway that can be targeted for the treatment of both Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma”
Aimee Mills is a PhD student at the Department of Ophthalmology and Centre for Brain research within the University of Auckland. She is passionate about research in neurodegeneration and specifically, the contribution of chronic inflammation to the presentation and progression of neurodegenerative diseases.